Mike Docter swears he wasn't conflicted Saturday afternoon at Heritage Center, where his alma mater and former club, Duluth East, was hosting the team his son stars for, Minnetonka, in a highly anticipated high school boys hockey game.
Ditto for last March, Docter said, when the Skippers skated past the Greyhounds in the Class AA final at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Sure was hard to tell by Docter's appearance Saturday. Surrounded by a handful of ex-teammates on the 1977-78 East squad, he sported a throwback Greyhounds jersey plus a Minnetonka hockey hat.
"It's always pretty easy to root for your son," Docter said.
Grant Docter is a terrific senior defenseman for the Skippers. Following Minnetonka's convincing 5-2 win Saturday, the younger Docter was shown a picture of his father wearing the East sweater - and smiling, no less.
"Oh, God, why would we wear that?" Grant quipped. "I'll give him a lot of (crap) for that."
Grant said his dad occasionally will break out singing East's school song, which he did before last year's state tournament. But not Saturday.
"I told him I don't want to hear that tonight," Grant said.
The elder Docter's contradictory appearance was the result of a mini-reunion held Saturday by the '77-78 Greyhounds. A half-dozen former players, all '78 graduates, were showing off their retro jerseys and bantering like they were teenagers again. Handshakes - some between guys who hadn't seen each other in 30-plus years - quickly gave way to good-natured ribbing.
"I haven't seen 'Doc' (Docter) since probably two years after high school," Jeff Peterson said. "I hadn't seen Pat (Olson) for 35 years until we connected on Facebook."
Peterson then added: "We're old now."
Saturday was an obvious date for the get-together with Mike Docter in town to watch Grant and the Skippers. Six players - Peterson, Olson, Docter, Jamey Ross and brothers Dean and Duane Holm - from the 1977-78 team were in attendance, a strong turnout with so many guys scattered around the country. Another was set to drive up from Oklahoma before poor weather intervened.
Ross was the leading scorer for those Don Bourdeau-coached Greyhounds, who came up a game shy of the state tournament, falling to Mounds View in the region final for a third consecutive year.